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Monday, September 1, 2014

ACE Coaster Landmark Favorites Results and September Poll

I think it is a testament to the quality of these ACE Coaster Landmarks that twenty-nine of the thirty-three coasters in the poll received at least one vote. In fact, out of these thirty-three coasters, three of them tied for being the favorite of the most in our community. These three great coasters often top the lists of many coaster lovers. The three most favorited coasters in the bunch were Phoenix, Magnum XL 200, and Thunderbolt. Arguably, each of these were some of the most important coaster installations for the industry. All three of these coasters garnered 13.5 percent of the vote.

Magnum has triggered a flurry of record breaking coasters since it was first built in 1989. When it was built in 1989, it was the tallest complete circuit coaster in the world at 200 feet, and the term "hypercoaster" was coined for coasters that meet or exceed the 200 foot threshold.
The Phoenix is not only the jewel of creations for the legendary Herbert Schmeck of PTC, it is also a coaster that was disassembled in Texas, transported to Knoebels, and rebuilt, at a relatively low cost, setting an example for parks like Wild World (Six Flags America) to relocate their Wild One roller coaster, Lakemont to relocate their Skyliner from New York, and many other smaller to mid-sized parks that relocated rides. Knoebels has flourished ever since the Phoenix was relocated, enabling recreations and relocations of rides from other parks.
The latest coaster to be awarded ACE Coaster Landmark status is the Kennywood Thunderbolt. This classic was originally built in 1924 as the Pippin. Come 1968, regional competition was heating up. It was already a packed immediate regional amusement park scene, with with many more parks in operation, but many larger suburban parks were being proposed and in progress, including Kings Island, and other further parks such as many of the Six Flags parks, Kings Dominion, and others. Additionally, the previously threatened Cedar Point, now an accessible park from the Pittsburgh area as a result of the improved highways, and Geauga Lake, were doubling down on their amusement rides. It was decided that Kennywood needed a new coaster to compete, so instead of tearing down the Pippin to build another ride, the park utilized a member of their staff, Andy Vettel, to greatly expand the then Pippin, through reconfiguring the ride and adding the spaghetti bowl set of helix drops.

Coming in fourth with ten percent of the vote was the Kings Island Beast. This is another coaster that set off a building spree. Being built in 1979 at the relatively new suburban mega-park, Kings Island, it utilizes the hillside and deeply forested setting of the park to traverse the woods. This coaster is still the longest wooden roller coaster in the world, and the third longest coaster overall. The 141 foot drop was the tallest in the world at the time.

Coming in fifth with nine percent of the vote is the Conneaut Lake Blue Streak. This legendary coaster is one of only two coasters remaining that were built by Ed Vettel, with the other being the Lakeside Cyclone. For those of you from the Pennsylvania that remember and loved the old Willow Grove Thunderbolt (a very similar coaster to the Lakeside Cyclone) or the old West View Dips, you should check out these two coasters. Blue Streak is a testament to dedication to preservation.

These thirty-three coasters with the ACE Coaster Landmark status are considered to be historically significant for one reason or another. Be sure to these coasters out, because they have all contributed to the preservation and advancement of the amusement parks that we love.

Batman the Ride - Six Flags Great America; Gurnee, IL, USA; Operating
Beast (The) - Kings Island; Kings Mills, OH, USA; Operating
Big Dipper - Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom; Aurora, OH, USA; SBNO
Blue Streak - Conneaut Lake Park; Conneaut Lake, PA, USA; Operating
Classic Coaster - Puyallup Fair and Events Center; Puyallup, WA, USA; Operating
Comet (The) - The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom; Lake George, NY, USA; Operating
Corkscrew - Silverwood Theme Park; Athol, ID, USA; Operating
Cyclone - Lakeside Amusement Park; Denver, CO, USA; Operating
Cyclone - Astroland; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Operating
Dragon Coaster - Playland Park; Rye, NY, USA; Operating
Giant Dipper - Belmont Park; San Diego, CA, USA; Operating
Giant Dipper - Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk; Santa Cruz, CA, USA; Operating
Jack Rabbit - Kennywood Park; West Mifflin, PA, USA; Operating
Jack Rabbit - Seabreeze Amusement Park; Rochester, NY, USA; Operating
Leap-the-Dips - Lakemont Park; Altoona, PA, USA; Operating
Legend - Arnolds Park; Arnolds Park, IA, USA; Operating
Loch Ness Monster - Busch Gardens Williamsburg; Williamsburg, VA, USA; Operating
Magnum XL-200 - Cedar Point; Sandusky, OH, USA; Operating
Matterhorn Bobsleds - Disneyland; Anaheim, CA, USA; Operating
Mind Bender - Six Flags Over Georgia; Austell, GA, USA; Operating
Phoenix - Knoebels Amusement Resort; Elysburg, PA, USA; Operating
Playland Wooden Coaster - Playland at the PNE; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Operating
Racer - Kennywood Park; West Mifflin, PA, USA; Operating
Racer (The) - Kings Island; Kings Mills, OH, USA; Operating
Rebel Yell - Kings Dominion; Doswell, VA, USA; Operating
Revolution - Six Flags Magic Mountain; Valencia, CA, USA; Operating
Roller Coaster - Lagoon; Farmington, UT, USA; Operating
Runaway Mine Train - Six Flags Over Texas; Arlington, TX, USA; Operating
Thunderbolt - Kennywood Park; West Mifflin, PA, USA; Operating
Thunderbolt - Six Flags New England; Agawam, MA, USA; Operating
Whizzer - Six Flags Great America; Gurnee, IL, USA; Operating
Wildcat - Lake Compounce Theme Park; Bristol, CT, USA; Operating
Yankee Cannonball - Canobie Lake Park; Salem, NH, USA; Operating

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